2020 has been a strange and difficult year. Despite the challenges this year has brought, the work of the CID has continued during the pandemic, including the completion of our largest roadway project to date.
Major Roadway Construction
Sugarloaf Parkway Improvements
The Sugarloaf CID, in partnership with Gwinnett DOT, is wrapping up a major roadway construction project on Sugarloaf Parkway. The project added an additional lane in each direction between I-85 and the new entrance to the Infinite Energy Center parking decks as well as improvements to the Sugarloaf Parkway at Satellite Boulevard intersection. This project was funded by the Gwinnett County SPLOST program and the Sugarloaf CID. The CID contributed funding for aesthetic upgrades, including mast arms, pavers, and landscaping. Final landscaping improvements will be complete late 2020/early 2021.
Gwinnett County and the Sugarloaf CID were awarded $750,000 for improvements to Sugarloaf Parkway. This project will continue the improvements from the new entrance to the Infinite Energy Center parking decks up to Meadow Church Road. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting new project that will add greater mobility to this key area of our district.
Advancing Long-term Projects
The Loop Trail
The Loop Trail study will be wrapping up at the end of this year. The Loop Trail is a proposed 17-mile trail system that will be a combination of multi-use side paths along roadways and meandering paved trails through greenspace and parks that will ultimately connect the Sugarloaf CID and the Infinite Energy Center to the Gwinnett Place area, Suwanee’s trail system, and the Western Gwinnett Pathway.
The Sugarloaf CID has taken an active role in advancing the section of the trail that connects through our district, partnering with Gwinnett County to complete a study that will position the project for implementation funding.
Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Study
Work on our bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor study will be complete in early 2021. The Sugarloaf CID teamed up with two other CIDs — Gwinnett Place and Gateway85 Gwinnett — along with Gwinnett County to complete this study. The transit line would run along Satellite Boulevard, parallel to I-85, and link to the Infinite Energy Center and Sugarloaf Mills. BRT functions like a light rail with rubber tires. It would have a dedicated lane to allow reliable trip times and create the potential for transit-oriented development at station areas. Work on this corridor study will be complete in early 2021. While the transit referendum that could have provided funding for this project did not pass in November, this study is aimed at establishing a vision for future high-capacity transit service and planning for potential station locations. The study, which was in development prior to the calling of the recent referendum, is critical for providing this direction, regardless of the funding mechanism for expansion.
Ensuring the Security of our Business Community
2020 has seen continued success with our Flock Safety Cameras, as well as the launch of our campaign to prevent vehicle break-ins in partnership with the Gwinnett Police Department. Vehicle break-ins are the top crime in the area, and often as many as half of vehicle break-ins happen to cars that have been left unlocked. The CID’s campaign urges drivers to “take your valuables and lock your vehicle” when leaving a parked vehicle.
New and Improved Website
In September, the CID launched a new website to provide more clear benefits to our property owners, more details on our projects underway, and information about what is happening in the CID community.
Growing our District
In June, the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners approved a request by the Sugarloaf Community Improvement District to expand the district boundaries by eight parcels. The expansion adds $27.97 million in appraised value to the Sugarloaf CID. This was the fourth expansion since the CID formation in 2016, and it grew the CID to a total of 79 taxable parcels. When property owners join the CID, they agree to pay an additional tax of 3.5 mills to fund projects that make the district more connected, safe, and attractive. The addition of these new properties increases the amount of funding the CID can leverage to complete critical projects in our community.
Community Engagement and Partnerships
Thanks to a grant from the Gwinnett Creativity Fund, two ‘Button Art’ public art sculptures will be installed at the Infinite Energy Center, one entitled “Saxophone Player” and the other an interactive chalkboard sculpture at the Hudgens Center for Art and Learning.
In 2020, the Sugarloaf CID was also featured in articles in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Georgia Trend, Gwinnett Daily Post, and Focus Atlanta. CID Executive Director Alyssa Davis was recognized as one of Engineering Georgia’s Top 100 Influential Women and was also featured on episodes of Business RadioX’s “Celebrating Powerhouse Women” and “TravelSafely” series.
The Sugarloaf CID partnered with other Gwinnett CIDs to host two Candidate Forums for the 2020 elections this year. As we congratulate all of our newly elected officials, we’d also like to recognize the work of both Chairman Charlotte Nash and Commissioner Jace Brooks in our community. Both have served as great partners in supporting the work of the CID, and we are thankful to them for their commitment to progress in Gwinnett County.
The Sugarloaf CID is planning to install gateway signage on Sugarloaf Parkway near the I-85 interchange early next year. This sign is a sculptural work of art that will serve as a landmark for our district.